Monday afternoon, members of the Idaho Legislature heard from Mayor Brian Blad on how Urban Renewal and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts have helped bring business to Pocatello.
His address to lawmakers was part of the 2015 Southeast Idaho Legislative Tour hosted by the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Blad highlighted statistics from the City of Pocatello Planning and Development Services Department that say Pocatello has seen 1,850 jobs created in the last five years by the districts. He also spoke about the more than $84 million that has been added to the tax rolls during that same timeframe.
The districts work by collecting taxes on improvements in the district and then using the money to help bring in new businesses, fund infrastructure improvements, and pay for rehabilitation efforts. Currently, a legislative interim committee is looking into changing Idaho’s urban renewal and TIF laws.
“The reality is Pocatello not only competes with other cities in Idaho but also with the nation and the world in attracting businesses,” said Mayor Blad. “These districts are a tool that we have wielded successfully to bring new business into our city. If changes are made to the law and they hamper our ability to lure businesses to Pocatello, we not only lose but the State of Idaho loses.”
The interim committee is set to meet again in October.